Why Writing Works

Disciplinary Approaches to Composing Texts

Writing in Special Education

By Professor LeAnne Syring

Writing in the field of education is essential to share insights and information. A teacher may want to research a topic to teach. The research may include the history of the topic, the current status of the topic, or how to best teach the particular topic. Perhaps you, as a teacher, have taught a lesson or a unit in the area and it worked well. You may write a blog, design a curriculum, or write a journal article on the subject. Sharing knowledge, expertise, and experience aids in the development of others.

Types of writing in Special Education

All types of writing are done in the field of education. There are textbooks to guide teaching such as Harry Wong’s The First Day of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher. There are also specific curriculums' a school may follow, such as Core Knowledge Curriculum by E.D. Hirsch. Books of nonfiction are also included in the field of education as a source of knowledge and enlightenment, such as A Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandin’s Mother Tells the Family Story by Eustacia Cutler. Journal articles for research, practical magazines for ideas, blogs, tweets, websites, and Facebook pages, are other varieties of writing in the education field.

The areas that have the most impact on the field on a daily basis are the blogs and social media posts (such as tweets) that share instantaneous information. A writer than can convey a message succinctly and with high interest can spread information more quickly and across a broader audience than research journals. However, the research being done in education is important in advancing the field, formulating new ideas and proving or disproving the worth of the idea.

Writing in the Special Education classroom

Students in the education classrooms write essays, research articles, policy papers, and teaching assessments. A variety of writing styles is required. These skills transfer outside of the university experience for teachers as they assess their students, write articles for school news, correspond with parents, research topics, and advocate for their students or school. Funding for schools is also an issue at times and the ability to write grant proposals is also a sought after skill.

Tips for writing well in Special Education

Key markers in the field of educational writing include a succinct, yet descriptive title. Also, citation of sources and adherence to the formatting that is included in APA. A paper that is formatted correctly is instantly recognizable. It is important to use the APA manual when writing.


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